Ballymoney Under 17s welcomed their opponents Civil Service to the Kilraughts Road on Saturday and, in fine playing conditions, won 45-0.
The Town lads began in a similar fashion to the previous Saturday by controlling the early encounters. This ensured that good ball was being produced for our backline who were constantly pressing the Civil Service defence.
The forwards, after a period of early domination, continued to win good early ball for the backs. This was successful in creating an opportunity for Jack Kane to round his opposite number and score a winger’s try between the posts. Andrew Young converted. Another good try was to follow immediately when scrum-half Chris Campbell took a quick penalty and passed to Captain Ben Graham who surged over beside the posts.
Following an injury to centre Gavin Thompson, the backline had to be reorganised and for a period play began to be a bit scrappy. However, the Town refused to allow Civil Service to settle and continually pressed their defence whose only option was to clear their line by kicking long. This presented our lads with options to run and resulted in another fine score before halftime. Gary Pattison, receiving a clearance kick, opened up the Civil Service defence with a strong run when the ball was intercepted and knocked on. From the ensuing set piece the ever alert scrumhalf Chris Campbell picked up and dived over beside the posts to score. Andrew Young converted, leaving the halftime score 19-0 in favour of the Town.
The Town began the second half in a very strong fashion when James Wilson scored an excellent try following a strong run and superb pass from William Parkhill. Andrew Young converted.
The young, competitive and enterprising Civil Service team refused to give up and continued to run the ball at Ballymoney, keeping the Town lads on their toes. Following a lineout on the halfway line the hustling Alan McBurney won loose ball which was passed out along the backline where the supporting wing forward, Nathaniel McCollum,took the final pass to score between the posts. Andrew Young converted. Another excellent try was to follow when full back, Gary Pattison, took a long pass fromAaron Brown and rounded two defenders to score. Andrew Young converted for the fifth time.
The Town continued to press and harry the Civil Service forwards but some over-exuberance resulted in two of our players being sin-binned for 7 minutes. Down to 13 players the lads had to dig deep to prevent Civil Service from scoring.
Ten minutes from the end, both sin-binned players returned to play and number eight, Matthew Johnston, scored a fine forward’s try when he received the ball from a tap penalty and used his strength to reach the line. The conversion attempt failed leaving the final score of 45-0 to the Town. MoM Gary Pattison.